Ikal Angelei of Kenya Wins 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize

Sunday, April 15, 2012
Ikal Angelei in front of Lake Turkana
Ikal Angelei in front of Lake Turkana
Photo courtesy of the Goldman Environmental Prize

Today, April 16, 2012, our friend and partner Ikal Angelei, Director of Friends of Lake Turkana, joins the ranks of the distinguished winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize.

Each year, six activists are chosen from around the world – one from each inhabited region – to be honored for their "sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk." Ikal has won the prize for Africa, and is the first person from the region to ever be honored for dam fighting.

Insert Goldman YouTube video

Ikal has been working to organize the indigenous communities around Lake Turkana to stop the massive Gibe III Dam in Ethiopia, which would essentially cut off the main water supply of Lake Turkana and devastate the environment and the communities who depend on the lake for their survival. Ikal and her colleagues have successfully managed to keep most international financiers from investing in the project; China's biggest bank is now the only financier left besides the Ethiopian government.

Ikal and the other five winners – including another river protector, Ma Jun of China – were honored at an awards ceremony on April 16, 2012 in San Francisco. This ceremony was the conclusion of a weekend-long look at China's role as the world's biggest dam builder. Read a blog by our Executive Director Jason Rainey for information on the weekend's events on China's global dam footprint.

As one of the organizations responsible for nominating Ikal for this year's Goldman Environmental Prize, all of us here at International Rivers are proud to know Ikal and support her work as a leader of the environmental and social justice movement in Africa.  

Ikal Angelei with a community who would by affected by the Gibe III Dam
Ikal Angelei with a community who would by affected by the Gibe III Dam
Photo courtesy of the Goldman Environmental Prize

Please help the campaign to stop the Gibe III Dam by taking action today.

In May, 2012, the World Bank – which decided to not fund the Gibe III Dam – will choose whether or not it will provide US$676 million for the transmission line that would export the project's electricity. Since the Bank deemed the Gibe III Dam as too destructive for direct support, we believe that it shouldn't provide backdoor funding for the transmission line either.

Here's how you can help:

  • "Like" Friends of Lake Turkana (FoLT) on Facebook
  • Write a message on FoLT's wall (note that in order for the @ referenced pages to show up, you need to type them out, including the @symbol; copy and paste doesn't work):
    • Congratulations to Ikal Angelei and @Friends of Lake Turkana for winning the @Goldman Environmental Prize. @World Bank, please continue to stay out of the controversial and desctructive Gibe III Dam - don't fund the transmission line!
  • Tweet these messages on Twitter:
  • @WorldBank Protect our #worldheritage! Don't fund the destruction of Lake #Turkana. #goldmanprize #ecomonday http://friendsoflaketurkana.org
  • Congrats Ikal of @FoLTurkana for winning the 2012 #goldmanprize for protecting Lake #Turkana /en/node/7361